Here’s a Longmont Library book you might find interesting: Favorite Words of Famous People, by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon. The title says it all. Barbara Taylor Bradford chose “gormless,” meaning stupid, as in “The writer dismissed his critics as gormless twits.” Bob Hope’s favorite word was, of course, “laughter.” No doubt this book was inspired by a Henry James quote: “Summer afternoon — summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
An article in Publisher’s Weekly reports that audiobooks are alive and very well. In 2015, 35,574 audiobooks were published, and their sales reached more than 1.7 billion dollars. Meanwhile, e-books have been in a slow, steady decline.
Here following are wise and witty remarks from wise and witty folks:
- “Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.” Flannery O’Connor
- “The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he really is very good, in spite of all the people who say he is very good.” Robert Graves
- “People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.” Abraham Lincoln reviewing a book
- “In every fat book there’s a thin book trying to get out.” Unknown
Okay, here’s another book you might want to read. It’s The Book (not The Bestseller) and it’s “a cover to cover exploration of the most powerful object in our time.” It begins with the invention of papyrus and carries through to the binding of modern books, all you could possibly want to know. The author, Keith Houston, also wrote Shady Characters: the Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols, and Other Typographical Marks. Guess where you can find a copy.
The Association of American Publishers reports that “The publishing industry as a whole loses $80 to 100 million to piracy annually.” More about this next time…
May your to-read pile runneth over in 2017!